MacBook Air: The World’s Thinnest Notebook

19 Comments

MacBook Air

The rumors were true. Today Apple released the MacBook Air, “The World’s Thinnest Notebook”.

The competition specs in the “thin notebook” world are around 3 pounds, 1 inch thick, miniature keyboards, and slow processors.

The new MacBook Air is 0.16″ to 0.76″ at its thickest part and has a 13.3″ widescreen display.

A few features:

  • LED backlit display
  • Built-in iSight
  • Ambient light sensor for keyboard
  • Multi-touch trackpad – Move a window by double-tap and move. Rotate a photo by pivoting your index finger around your thumb
  • 80GB drive as standard, 64GB SSD as an option
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo as standard, 1.8 GHz as an upgrade
  • 45w MagSafe
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Micro-DVI
  • 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1/EDR
  • 5 hour battery life
  • 2GB memory as standard

The processor on this thing is unreal. Intel shrunk the Core 2 Duo by 60%. It’s the thickness of a nickel and the width of a dime.

Something worth noting here is that the MacBook Air does not have an optical drive. Jobs says we’re moving towards an age of not needing one. You can get movies via iTunes purchase or rental, use Time Capsule for backups, and install things from CD/DVD via their new “Remote Disc” feature that lets you “borrow” the drive from a nearby machine.

Base price for the MacBook Air is $1799. They are taking pre-orders today and it will be shipping in two weeks.

19 Comments

Amy

Well, bought one tonight in spite of the considerable skepticism. It is just so neat.

I am a photographer but I cannot figure out why I need more than one usb port at a time. I will download my pics and then unplug the camera freeing the port.

All of my microsoft office software runs fine so that my files from my dell at work can be opened with no problem.

For me personally, I cannot imagine why I would ever miss the ability to hook up firewire. Wireless isn’t as fast, but it will be all that I need.

Keynote does everything I want to do for presentations and the Macbook air easily connects to the projector

I have even found a patch for SIMS that supposedly lets it run w/o the disc in the comp. I will see if that is true.

Optical drive? Who cares…I can get what I need wirelessly. It seems that we need to welcome 2008 and change our thinking about how to use our laptops. Hope I am not going to live to regret this opinion!

sjmills

So what if it doesn’t have a DVD drive? Nobody is forcing you to buy it. Tons of people live happy, full lives without an optical drive in their PowerBook. The last time I put a disc in there was when Sims 2 was new, and it required the damned disc to play it. But most games suck when you’re sitting on the couch, so ours doesn’t get used for anything but internet stuff now. No optical drive needed at all.

jacob

What??? this machine should not even be in production I was watching the apprentice the other night when J.Simmons from kiss gets the boot. I think the one that approved this project should be also, First: because it does not have an optical drive, no FIRE WIRE, no docking station, THAT is the reason why PCs notebooks are ahead you can expand it that way.
I love Apple but lately they have give us just over price products.
Fix it, Sony’s might be bigger but we do not have to worry of bringing more stuff

Christian

I believe the processor is actually the thickness of a needle and the width of a dime. That’s what the live feed from the show said, but it could have been a typo. Now that I’m looking for it, I don’t see it mentioned anywhere.

Stephanie Guertin

Don’t forget the full-size keyboard!

Oh, and Ken? No onboard optical drive. The one that Steve referred to is the USB-connected external one that you can buy for 99$

Ken

My understanding is that it DOES have an optical drive. Steve said that he didn’t think that most people would need it, but it is there.

RIch

The multi-touch trackpad raises a question. Is this a hardware advance or simply software?

I’m wondering if a software update to the current Mac laptop range could make them multitouch in much the same way Front Row could be hacked onto technically non-Front Row Macs.

Jeff Hall

I’m a photographer and The MBA is not practical for me to use as a location computer. I need one more USB port (i realize i can get a hub but that defeats the purpose of portability) and I need a fire-wire port. A lower price would be nice as well, but I understand that smaller means more $$$.

rfrancis

#4 – Heck, it doesn’t have optical drives ? Then how do we load all the stuffs that we have on cd’s/dvd’s ? By “AIR” ?

You have two options. There is a $99 external superdrive available. The other truly is by “Air” – you install a bit of software on either a Mac or Windows machine that has wireless capabilities, you pop what ever optical media you have into that machine and it becomes available to the Air for install, etc.

Adrian Aioanei

Heck, it doesn’t have optical drives ? Then how do we load all the stuffs that we have on cd’s/dvd’s ? By “AIR” ?

Another problem would be with the heat, actual MacBook’s and MacBook Pro’s raise some issues on this matter. Wonder how MackBook AIR handles this being much thiner.

Adrian.

Nick

No optical drives? You lost me Steve… I don’t have any other drives to use or an external drive to backup to. I still depend on cd/dvd. As cool as this machine is I think that alone makes it a dud.

Mike Perry

Thanks Steve! I was afraid this new computer would be small rather than thin and make me regret getting that MacBook last fall. Instead, you’ve created a new MacBook that’s a “babe magnet” and that many will be eager to have, but that doesn’t interest me in the slightest. My bank account thanks you too.

Now how about giving the rest of us a small MacBook with perhaps a 10-inch screen, a non-metallic body (for WiFi range), and a 10-hour battery life. Make it rugged as a brick and limited in features, so you can price it at $999. It’s be the perfect writer’s and backpack traveler’s tool.

And while you’re at it, why not license the MacBook power connector to others. I have a iGo power gadget that’ll run any laptop from any power source in the galaxy, that is, any laptop but MacBooks and MacBook Pros.

–Mike Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

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